The City of Santa Ana was sued today in federal district court challenging a city ordinance that prohibits some registered citizens from being on or within 300 feet of city libraries, learning centers, schools, parks and museums. Santa Ana is the 7th city or county to be sued in a period of seven weeks.
“The City of Santa Ana ordinance violates both the federal and state constitutions,” stated CA RSOL president Janice Bellucci. “California RSOL warned the city about its ordinance both in writing and through testimony prior to its passage, however, the City chose to ignore those warnings.”
Before the lawsuit was filed, California RSOL also sent a series of letters to Santa Ana Mayor Pulido advising the City Council of two Court of Appeal decision that determined similar ordinances in Irvine and Orange County were preempted by state law. The first letter was sent by California RSOL on January 20 and the final letter was sent on April 24.
The lawsuit filed today was the second legal challenge of Santa Ana’s sex offender ordinance. The first challenge occurred in May 2013, however, the case was dismissed by federal Judge Carney after he refused to allow the plaintiffs in the case use the common pseudonyms, John Doe and Jane Doe.
“Today’s lawsuit was filed because the City of Santa Ana refused to act in accordance with existing state law,” stated CA RSOL board member Chance Oberstein. “The California Supreme Court has spoken and left in place the appellate court decisions which determined that cities cannot adopt laws that prohibit the presence of registered citizens within their jurisdiction.”